For the best Tibetan dishes in Leh, dinner at The Tibetan Kitchen is recommended; for the most relaxing meal, anytime of the day, don't miss the Penguin Garden Restaurant (both are reviewed below). In the Main Street Bazaar, you might be forgiven for not even noticing the reliable Himalaya Café (tel. 01982/25-0144; Rs 45-Rs 150; no credit cards), where Tibetan and Chinese dishes are served in the Ladakhi version of a dimly lit bistro -- one of the few eating establishments in Leh where you'll experience some sort of atmosphere. In the Main Street Bazaar, Cafe Amdo has brilliant thupka -- the local staple, a soup noodle mixed with veggies, succulent meat, and a round of hot, delicious sauces that'll clear your sinuses. And Dreamland on Fort Road is another popular all-day restaurant with a varied menu, including Kashmiri dishes.

One of the coolest newcomers (and there have been many additions to Leh's fly-by-night restaurant scene) in Changspa, is Jeevan Restaurant and, above it, the rooftop Café Jeevan. The restaurant is swish and slightly more formal, while the canopied open-air place upstairs is a better bet during the day. The menu is predictably overladen with options -- from Italian and Israeli to Indian and Chinese -- and it's definitely not catering to locals, but it's a pleasant enough spot to unwind (they play fresh lounge tracks, have a library to browse, and offer laptops to surf the internet).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.